Here we are for part 2 of the 2020 recaps. Next up will be the awards followed by the Q&A podcast, which I am psyched for. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions. I will have my hands full when I record. That episode will be released on Monday so stay tuned.

If you are reading this, you made it through the shit storm that is 2020. I guess that says something. It was only a year, but it felt like five. It’s eerie because time stood still, but yet, moved so fast. I reflect back and it is honestly a bit of blur.

At this time last year, I had just found out my wife was having a girl. I also had just become my fantasy league’s sacko. Talk about your highs and lows of life. In all seriousness, I was in no way, shape or form prepared for the madness that was going to follow. Of course I am talking about Covid19.

At this point last year, I knew it was a thing. I knew containing it was a struggle. I knew there was plenty of uncertainty. I didn’t think too much about it though because I have seen illnesses come and go like Swine Flu, West Nile, SARS and Ebola. No disrespect to those heavily impacted by those, but the damage isn’t what we saw with Covid. To say Covid had a monumental impact on 2020 would be an understatement. It was THE talking point of 2020 and isn’t going away as we head into the new year.

Life as we know it would be altered. This wasn’t the worst year for me personally, but I won’t sit here and pretend it hasn’t been tough in certain ways.

The uncertainty and concern really began hitting me around Mardi Gras knowing the spread would be dangerous because most gave zero shits, even those who do now. It was during the carnival season that I knew I wasn’t risking going anywhere for a while. However, I didn’t know that a while would turn into months. The only place was the grocery store. Eventually, we began getting our groceries delivered. We turned into hermits.

My wife and I spent months working from home together before she went on maternity leave. That was tough for us because our little dude was also home with us. We would both get frustrated because if he wasn’t distracting me, he was distracting her. It got tough for a while. We didn’t (especially me) feel comfortable keeping him in daycare for a few months. That took a toll on him. He was stuck in the house all the time. We went from grocery trips as a family and Target runs on Friday to staying home. Eventually we sent him back and the behavioral issues he was having began to subside.

I am just sitting there knowing how tough the situation itself was for me. So I can’t imagine the impact on a toddler. Even though he knew there was a reason we couldn’t have our normalcies, you can’t expect a toddler to be able to process that and react favorably. The one thing I won’t forget about this year is his logic in what was happening. When we told him he wouldn’t be going to daycare and we couldn’t go to Target, that took away his normalcy. He loves going to Target (same, fam). We explained there was a virus going around and we didn’t want anyone we loved getting sick including him. For whatever reason, he took the word virus and ran with it to mean diarrhea. So for the next few months when asked what was going on, he would say “can’t go to Target…diarrhea going around.” Maybe he was onto something with the toilet paper shortage. On the bright side, I will forever have that fucking memory to remind him over the years.

In addition to the impact on my dude, the other major hit was my marketing company. That is pretty much dead in the water at this point. If an opportunity presents itself, of course I will take it. As far as attempting to do it full time anymore, no way.

That was my biggest concern back in March. Our clients were mainly small local businesses. Heading in to 2020, we were on our way. We were 1 or 2 clients away from taking home a nice chunk of change to make it sustainable, but then we literally got wiped clean and down to one client because of Covid. A couple of them ended up returning for a while before the financial strain became an issue again. After the second wave of bailing, we took it out back and shot it. Now, we have one client, the same client who never bailed. It happens to be a good friend of mine and if I can keep helping that friend, I will. A little extra income each month doesn’t hurt either.

We gave it hell and tried to make it work. It just didn’t happen.

For the shit sandwiches I ate in 2020, I still managed to find some victories along the way. I already touched on how well this blog did. I am incredibly grateful for that. I couldn’t be more excited for year five of Hotard Huddle.

In May, I watched my wife give birth to our adorable little girl. Watching the love shared between her and her big brother is fucking amazing. Thinking about where we were four years ago entering 2017 to now is night and day. I couldn’t be more grateful for those two little knuckleheads who make our world go round.

Perhaps the second biggest victory in all of this was finally pulling the trigger and moving to Atlanta. We arrived here in October and I freaking love it. Despite the tight living space as I basement dwell at my in-laws until we purchase a home, it is amazing to be here and it feels like home. My current job is right on the line of Midtown and Downtown Atlanta. I love driving to the city every day for work. I enjoy being down there. It’s vibrant, fun and to be honest, I love the politics. I literally saw someone on morning run with a fucking Warnock banner. My wife and I fell in love with this city prior to getting married when she did her internship here. It is wonderful to be able to call Georgia home.

I told myself I wouldn’t get political (even thought this shouldn’t be political) with this column so I will keep this short. As we approach 2021, I hope we throw caution to the wind and act a little smarter after nearly a year into this pandemic. I hope more and more get vaccinated in due time. I hope we can move forward into a better year.

To my family, friends, readers and even the ball bags who only show up to poo poo on me, I hope you have a Happy New Year. We’re onto 2021.

Oh and sorry, one last thing…I am no longer Sacko of the Dirty Dozen. Get Bent, Ryan. And Baseball sucks.

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